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Big Bear, Mammoth and Other Mountain Towns Tell Visitors: Keep Out

A snowboarder at Snow Summit in Big Bear Lake, Calif., Friday, Jan. 8, 2016 (Photo by Christopher Weber/AP)
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Tourism-dependent small towns in California are doing the unthinkable: asking visitors to stay away.

Big Bear, Mammoth, Truckee and South Lake Tahoe are among the mountain communities asking anyone who is not a resident to keep out of town.

Eddie Kirsh, the director of marketing and communications for Visit Big Bear, said a group of local health, government and business officials made the decision Thursday morning after speaking with officials in Mammoth, who made their announcement Wednesday.

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Kirsh said the group's biggest concern was over-burdening its small, local hospital.

"Any way we can help prevent a health crisis is more beneficial for our residents and potential visitors than trying to get as much business as we can in the short term," he said.


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